Arts and Entertainment

Northwest Christmastime icon gets an NK touch

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9-year-old Ainsly MacKenzie’s artwork featured on this year’s cover.

Over the past 23 years, the philanthropic and iconic “Christmas in the Northwest” albums have been a red-and-green fabric of the greater Northwest community.

Celebrated throughout the area — through venues in print, online, on television and on the radio — the album annually brings together a host of the Northwest’s best musicians to create a benefit compilation of holiday songs. Proceeds from which are then donated to Children’s Hospitals throughout the region.

It started as, and remains, a way to say thank you for the service the hospitals provided and continue to provide. It’s reportedly raised three-quarters of a million dollars in its first 20 years.

Big name Northwest locals like Heart, the Dave Matthews Band and Harvey Danger have appeared on the album over the years as well as some of the smaller, yet beloved names like Tingstad and Rumbel, the Total Experience Gospel Choir and Ian McFeron.

For this year’s “Greatest Hits of the New Millennium” album, another (as-of-yet unknown) Northwest local joins the ranks as Poulsbo’s Ainsly MacKenzie, 9, was selected to design the cover art and inside panels of the album insert.

She’s volunteered for Children’s Hospital for years, creating Christmas cards since the first grade, her mom Kari said. This year Ainsly was delightfully surprised to get a call from “Christmas in the Northwest” asking to feature her artwork.

And while she’s excited to see her art on the cover, Kari said Ainsly is mostly hoping that people will buy the CD to support Children’s Hospital.

“Christmas in the Northwest, Greatest Hits of the New Millennium” will be on sale throughout the season at Borders, Bartell Drugs, Made in Washington Stores and at Silver Platters record shop in Seattle.

For more on the history of “Christmas in the Northwest,” samples of this year’s track listing, or to purchase online, go to www.cnwparty.com.

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